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Charlotte Berlin's Museum

Charlotte Berlin's Museum. Photo: Lucas Gölén

Charlotte Berlin's Museum. Photo: Lucas Gölén

Located on Dammgatan in central Ystad there is a yellow townhouse. Above the entrance hangs a black sign which announces that this is Charlotte Berlin’s Museum.

After passing through the front door one enters a hallway which leads into a large cozy living room filled with furniture and ornaments, in one corner of the room a large black piano stands over which hangs a portrait of the owner of the house; Charlotte Berlin.

Charlotte Berlin was born in Ystad in 1841 as daughter of the city court judge Johan Theodor Berlin. At birth she was given the impressive name: Charlotte Josephina Euphrosyne Aurora Constantia. In 1881 Charlotte Berlin bought the house on Dammgatan from an inheritance that her parents left her. The family’s faithful servant Ingrid Tullberg accompanied Charlotte in the move. The two women thereafter lived alone together in the house on Dammgatan.

Charlotte Berlin was a shrewd business woman who managed her money well, partly through making good investments on the stock market. All expenses and income no matter how small or large where dutifully noted in special accounting books. Miss Berlin was very fond of collecting especially watches and silver.

Early on she had the idea of creating a museum for her collections. In Charlotte Berlin’s final and very detailed last will there is written: “All my remaining property shall be used for the establishment of a museum here in the city which shall bear the name ‘Miss Charlotte Berlin’s in Ystad established Museum‘”

After Charlotte Berlin’s death in 1916 her last wishes were fulfilled. A foundation with a board of directors was formed. Today the museum is a reminder of the interior decorating ideals of the late 1800s but also a testimony over its original owner Charlotte Berlin.